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Brazil coach Tite has blasted critics of his team’s choreographed dance celebrations that have gone viral during the FIFA World Cup.
“I will not make comments to those who do not know Brazilian history and Brazilian culture the way each and every one of us is, I leave that noise aside,” Tite said during a Thursday press conference, per Rob Dawson of ESPN. “I respect the culture, the way I am, and the way this national team is. Lots of other kids will dance because it is Brazilian culture when a goal is scored.
“It is not being disrespectful, that is [us] and how we do things… as a culture and [it] will help the education of kids in school. We will continue doing things in our manner.”
After players included Tite in one of their celebrations during the 4-1 trouncing of South Korea in the World Cup Round of 16 match this past Monday, Manchester United and Ireland legend Roy Keane generated headlines when he commented that he felt like he was watching an episode of the British television contest “Strictly Come Dancing.”
“I don’t like this,” Keane said on ITV, as shared by Sky Sports News. “People say it’s their culture. But I think that’s really disrespecting the opposition. It’s four goals, and they are doing it every time. I don’t mind so much the first jig, it’s the one after that, and the manager getting involved. I’m not happy about it. I don’t think it’s good at all.”
Tite indicated the dances won’t be going anywhere if Brazil takes care of business against Croatia on Friday.
“I am 61 years old and I work with players who are 21, 22,” the boss explained. “They could be my grandchildren. If I have to dance to connect with them, I will continue dancing.”
Former U.S. men’s national team player and current Fox Sports analyst Alexi Lalas is among noteworthy individuals in the football community who have defended Brazil and Tite: